Simple Online Business – Don’t Overcomplicate!

simple online business

Simple Online Business – I’ve said it a lot of times on this blog. Building an online business is not easy. But it’s simple. So don’t overcomplicate things!

The first thing you want to do is determine what kind of online business model you want to follow. There are a number of different simple online business models you can choose from.

Selling physical products

You can manufacture and produce your own physical products and then market them online. Or you can also sell other people’s products so that you don’t have to do the production yourself and thus can concentrate in selling instead of producing. Go take a look at Amazon’s affiliate program for this. They sell a wide variety of physical goods.

Offline advertising costs are obnoxiously EXPENSIVE. How much does advertising on your local newspaper cost? What about on magazines? Generating customers via online means even if you’re selling physical products is way CHEAPER.

Selling information products

This can also be digital or physical in nature. Digital means you don’t have any production, inventory, and shipping costs. You just need a website (domain and hosting), and customers can get their products by simply downloading them from your website.

When you sell physical information products such as home study courses, print newsletters, CD audios, and DVD videos, you send them to your customer’s door. With this, the above mentioned costs (production, inventory, and shipping costs) apply.

Selling software

The next simple online business model is selling software.

Everyone needs software. You’re reading this post aren’t you? You’re using your PC or Mac which has an operating system to do it.

This blog is powered by script – which is a software.

Your Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, Photoshop, Firefox – they are all software.

Software has a place in almost every marketplace you can think of. With computers all over the place, you can be sure that the need for software will continue to rise.

You don’t need to understand programming to be able to create your own software. You can partner with a programmer where he does the programming and you do the marketing, or you can pay a programmer to create it for you.


Like I’ve mentioned in this post, you can also sell your expertise and skills to people who are in need of them. However, bear in mind that you’re trading time for money when you do this. You only have 24 hours in a day, and that means that there is only so much you can do in a day.

The way to turn this into a BUSINESS is where you hire people (full time employees and/or freelancers) and ask them to do the work, while you focus in marketing your services and maintain the business.

Do People Know You?

I’ve also said this MANY times (please don’t puke – new readers would definitely want to read about this so please give them a chance to do so) that you MUST let people know about your product or service. If nobody knows about it, nobody is going to buy.

I cover how to generate visitors to your website in this post and how to convert them in this post.

How Are You Going To Accept Payments Online?

A simple online business also needs an online payment processor to process payments. PayPal is the biggest and most popular and I use it for my online business as well.

Buyers do NOT need to have a PayPal account to pay you (but who doesn’t have a PayPal account these days?). They can use their credit card to pay for their purchase and it will work perfectly with PayPal.


Just as you need to do bookkeeping for your online business to know how well your business is doing, you also need to track how many visitors your website is getting and how well you’re doing in terms of converting them into buyers.

You do this by using a free tracking software by Google called Google Analytics.

Repeat What Is Working

After you’ve determined (from tracking) how most of your customers came to know about your product or service, you want to put in more effort and time into that specific traffic avenue.

For example, let’s say most of your customers know about your website via Google by typing a particular keyword phrase. You want to concentrate your effort and time on making that phrase rank on the 1st – 3rd spot on Google.

Building and running an online is NOT easy, but it’s simple. What do you have to say about simple online business?

10 Responses to “Simple Online Business – Don’t Overcomplicate!”

  • Shane

    I agree that online business is relatively simple. However, if you really want to grow your business, you have to level up your thinking a little bit – or you may take a big leap ahead – and think of how you can differentiate your market offerings. It’s so easy to say, “Okay, I will make some nice stuff and produce them online.” But I think the bottom line is how you will be able to gain an edge over your competitors. This requires some deep thinking there and a good knowledge of who your market is. Just my take…

    Shane of SpurPress, a Malaysian SEO Company

  • Hi,

    Well said Welly and my advise is stay focus and always willing to learn and take action.

    Have a great day.

  • When I started out I made the decision to only use profits to grow my business. This has helped me avoid the many get-rich-quick-schemes out there, but it has also caused my growth to be slow.
    On the other hand, it makes me much more cautious when whipping out my credit card!

  • Kila

    I agree with @surviving infifelity that if you
    want to start an online business that that you have to be able to deliver real value and and get your customers to trust you. Using social media to do this for business starting out can really help you and only costs you your time.

    Also stick to a well thought out business and marketing plan and hopefully this will lead to success. Keeping it simple is difficult but a must in a business.

  • I must say that the overall principal of online business is simple. Once a business is up and running profitably it can virtually run on auto pilot. However, getting to that point is not easy. My biggest advice is to focus on one thing that works and don’t get led in a multitude of directions by every how to product that comes on the market.

  • It is easy to overcomplicate sometimes. Like the posts above me, there is so much coming at a person, it is easy to get distracted.

    But if one sticks to a plan long enough to give it a good try, and with plenty of backlinking added, while providing value for the visitors and it does not work out, then it may be time to move on.

    If it does work, time to write out the notes and business plan and then ramp it up. Often it is not complicated, but the simple stuff repeated over and over again.

  • Over-complicating is the most natural impulse in the world when all around you are hundreds of voices advising you to do a thousand different things. Maybe the only way to avoid missing the forest for the trees is to consult your own sense of what may have value in your business. That answer, like Surviving Infidelity above said, should probably lead you to do and choose the things for your business that clearly benefits you and your customer, rather than chasing the fast buck.

  • If you want to start an online business – or any business – think about delivery real value first. Stop being concerned about making money and make what you’re doing better than anyone is doing. That’s the path to success.

  • Hi Welly,

    It’s so easy to complicate things because there are so many ways people can implement to make money online.

    This is why your post is good to read for everyone.

    Even the few things you cover in your post may be too many to focus on.

    Picking one model and focusing on it till it’s working is probably the best way to do things.


  • Welly, I use Paypal for my infoproducts that I don’t have an affiliate program for, and for my products that do have affiliate programs.

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